Register a Sole Proprietorship in Singapore: Features & Advantages

This article delves into the nuances of how to register a sole proprietorship in Singapore, providing a thorough overview that addresses its definition, benefits, and advantages.


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    Singapore has a legitimate reputation as a center for international commerce. Its advantageous location, stable political climate, and friendly tax environment draw in investors and businesspeople from all over the world. The sole proprietorship is one of the most common types of businesses in Singapore since it is straightforward and manageable. 

    This article delves into the nuances of how to register a sole proprietorship in Singapore, providing a thorough overview that addresses its definition, benefits, and disadvantages as well as the necessary documentation, features, and registration procedure. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an experienced investor, understanding how to establish a sole proprietorship in Singapore is crucial for making informed business decisions.

    Meaning of Sole Proprietorship

    A sole proprietorship is a kind of company structure in which the business is owned and run by a single person, known as the sole proprietor. It is one of the most straightforward types of business entities since this person takes full responsibility for all obligations and liabilities of the company. A sole proprietorship is an appealing option for small enterprises and entrepreneurs in Singapore because it is an easy process to establish.

    Features of Sole Proprietorship in Singapore

    Understanding the distinct features of a sole proprietorship in Singapore is crucial for anyone looking to establish a business in this vibrant city-state.

    Here are the key characteristics:

    • Single Owner: The most defining feature of a sole proprietorship in Singapore is that it is owned and operated by a single individual. For business owners who would rather operate freely and make all of their own decisions, this organizational structure is perfect.
    • No Distinct Legal Entity: In a sole proprietorship, the business is legally indistinguishable from the owner. This implies that the owner of the company bears personal liability for all debts and liabilities incurred by the company.
    • Taxation: One of the attractive features of a sole proprietorship in Singapore is the taxation aspect. The earnings produced by the firm is treated as the personal earnings of the proprietor and is subject to personal income tax rates. This can be advantageous, especially since Singapore offers relatively favorable personal income tax rates compared to many other countries.
    • Confidentiality: Since a sole proprietorship is not a distinct legal entity, its financial records are not publicly disclosed. This permits a higher level of privacy concerning the financial dealings and profits of the business.

    Procedure to Register a Sole Proprietorship in Singapore

    Let’s delve into the step-by-step procedure of registering a sole proprietorship in Singapore.

    Step 1: Business Name Registration

    Choosing a unique and meaningful business name is the first step. Make sure the name aligns with your business activities and isn’t currently in use. ACRA manages the business name registration process online, allowing for a quick and efficient application.

    Step 2: Prepare Identification Documents

    Gather the necessary identification documents, including a copy of the proprietor’s passport for foreigners or an identity card for Singapore residents. This documentation will be sent together with the business registration application.

    Step 3: Business Address

    Provide a local Singapore address as your business address. This address may be either residential or business, but it must be a physical location within Singapore.

    Step 4: Description of Business Activities

    Provide a detailed description of your company’s operations in the registration form. Be specific and accurate in describing the products or services your business will provide.

    Step 5: Declaration of Compliance

    Declare that your business will follow all relevant laws and regulations. This declaration is your commitment to conduct business morally and legally in Singapore.

    Step 6: Submission of Application and Fees

    Submit your application through ACRA’s online portal along with the necessary fees. The registration fee is a one-time payment, and additional fees may apply for name reservations or expedited processing.

    Step 7: Receive Business Registration Certificate

    ACRA will issue you a Business Registration Certificate if your registration is approved. This certificate acts as formal proof of the existence and registration of your corporation.

    Document Requirements for Registering a Sole Proprietorship in Singapore

    Before delving into the registration process, it’s important to know which documents are required.

    The key documents include:

    • Business Name Registration: Select a distinctive company name and make sure it is available. The procedure for registering a business name is overseen by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
    • Proprietor’s Identification Documents: Make a copy of the owner’s identity documents, such as their identity card for Singaporeans or passport for foreigners.
    • Business Address: Give a local Singaporean address as the business address. This can be a residential or commercial address.
    • Description of Business Activities: Clearly outline the nature of your business activities in the registration application.
    • Declaration of Compliance: Declare that the company will abide by all applicable laws and rules.

    Advantages of Establishing a Sole Proprietorship in Singapore

    Ease of Setup

    Registering a sole proprietorship in Singapore is a streamlined process, making it an attractive option for many.

    Complete Control

    Being the only owner allows you to control your company’s operations and direction without intervention from outside parties.

    Tax Benefits

    The tax regime in Singapore is favorable for sole proprietorships, providing various exemptions and incentives.

    Drawbacks of a Sole Proprietorship

    • Unlimited Liability: The most significant disadvantage is that the proprietor is personally responsible for all company liabilities.
    • Limited Capital: Obtaining funding might be difficult as sole proprietors cannot issue stocks or bonds.


    Registering a sole proprietorship in Singapore is more than just a bureaucratic step; it is the beginning of a journey in one of the world’s most dynamic and business-friendly environments. There are many advantages to operating as a sole proprietor, despite the relatively simple process. Among these advantages are total authority over your company and financial responsibility. Potential entrepreneurs need to carefully weigh the advantages and responsibilities related to this organizational structure. 

    Our team of professionals at OnDemand International is committed to helping you register a sole proprietorship in Singapore with ease. Our goal is to make your journey easier by helping you gather the relevant paperwork and obtain the licenses that are needed for a successful registration.